The Communications Electrical Plumbing Union (CEPU) has accused Federal Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, of wastefully duplicating National Broadband Network (NBN) fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) trials in Tasmania.
The Union claims Turnbull's decision to further test already-trialled towns is an attempt to divert political pressure from Tasmanian Liberal leader, Will Hodgman, two weeks out from election.
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"The trial has already been done, Tasmanians already enjoy FTTP NBN delivered via the above ground electricity network, so we know this is an effective, affordable and realistic way of providing the NBN to all Tasmanians," CEPU Tasmanian Branch state organiser, Emma Gill, said.
"Mr Turnbull knows this, but instead of committing to using this proven technology he is proposing yet another trial, which is simply wasting time and money."
"The NBN rollout is one of the major issues for many voters at the upcoming election. If Mr Hodgman is serious about wanting to lead Tasmania then the first thing he must do is demand the Communications Minister publicly commit to providing a FTTP NBN to all Tasmanians."
CEPU NBN construction coordinator, David Mier, said the Union supports FTTP via publicly-owned power poles over Turnbull's fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) network which will utilise existing copper lines.
He said CEPU knows FTTP works as it has been "successfully trialled in Tasmania and South Australia," and will deliver higher speeds at a lower cost than the Coalition's model.